It’s amazing when you are on a diet how much better you feel about yourself.
Except, I’m not even on a diet — Mr. Obvious is on a diet and that in and of itself has led me to lose five pounds.
This is the best diet I’ve never been on in my life.
I haven’t done a thing. I haven’t ran a mile. I haven’t lifted a weight other than my purse.
How did this not happen?
In order to shave a few pounds before race season (no, not marathon, sprint car racing season — like I could ever date a runner. People, please.) Mr. Obvious has been following a fairly simple diet and working out several times a week.
I’m pretty happy for the guy. I’d be extremely happy except I’m starving, but for the most part, I’m happy.
All in all, I’m just trying to be supportive, which isn’t easy when my brain is starved from starches.
You see, the first thing people do when they go on a diet is to shred all the things Midwest country girls know and love — bread, dairy and sugar.
I’m the girl who dips cheese in sugar and folds it into a slice of Wonderbread. Delish! Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
In fact, Midwestern people love bread so much, the Queen of Yo-Yo Dieting made breadlines, I mean, headlines a few weeks ago.
Chicago’s very own Oprah stunned the nation (maybe even the world?) by sharing with her billions of Twitter followers that she lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers and — wait for it — still enjoyed her daily bread.
*Gasp* Oprah really can do anything. What can she not do? She has done the impossible. She lost weight and is still eating bread.
Oprah has a huge effect on the way Americans eat — just ask a cattle farmer in the 1990s.
Oprah’s tweet about bread made headlines people. Bread is a big deal in this country.
And now that Mr. Obvious is on this diet, I miss bread, cheese, sugar and pasta so very much.
I miss bread and pasta for several reasons. First, it’s filling and it’s easy to make.
The first thing I learned how to cook was spaghetti. I can do spaghetti and I can do it well. Throw some garlic bread in and I can make a few people happy fairly quickly.
I eventually graduated from spaghetti and got wild one day and took on manicotti or cheese stuffed pasta shells to the common man. Don’t go nuts and think I’d make them by hand. The frozen ones are pretty amazing by themselves. Dump a jar of sauce and sprinkle with some mozzarella cheese and I morph into Conover’s own Giada De Laurentiis.
Except, I’m 30 pounds heavier, I look awful in stripes and I don’t have a cute Italian-lispy accent.
OK, so I’m nothing like Gadia. Who is? Who else can eat all that cream, cheese, pasta and pesto and still be a size 2.
Gadia. She needs to be studied.
Now that Mr. Obvious is on this diet, gone are the pseudo-Italian dinner options that I have come to lean on.
It has all been taken away from me.
Instead, I’ve been forced to get creative and buy items like, you know, vegetables. Lots and lots of vegetables. The only vegetable I would buy on a regular basis was cilantro, but I’ve recently learned that cilantro is not a vegetable. I know I was stunned, too.
You see, it’s not that I don’t like eating or even cooking healthier. It just requires that thing I don’t have a lot of — time and that thing they call effort.
Yet, when someone you love is on a diet, you want to support them. You may also want to jam a baguette down their throat after you’ve eaten omelettes for 12 nights straight, but for the most part you want to be supportive.
I also don’t want to be the reason he fell off the wagon because I can cook some amazing ravioli or my beef roast and slow roasted potatoes (with butter and sour cream).
But, if (and when) he cracks as he drives by Fazollis during a moment of weakness, I’ll be there to pick up the garlicky pieces and get back on the lean meal train.
This has been the best diet I’ve never been on in my life.
“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. She secretly adds Hidden Valley Ranch to their omelettes. Try it and then thank her later.